Butter Cream Recipe

Butter cream is one of the few basic creams which have been used for centuries in cake filling and masking. Basically, it is a whipped butter with the addition of sweet components like icing sugar, fondant etc.

Egg is not used in every butter cream but it has the duty of making butter cream more lighter and tastier. Lightness also come from the amount of whipping time which puts more air in to it. Having said that, smooth butter cream should not have much air, especially for masking.

You can flavour butter cream easily with coffee, chocolate, nougat, lemon paste and so on. Pretty much any kind of flavouring which has a very low water content is ok. It is a little more tricky to use fresh fruit. Fresh fruits must be cooked first to remove the water content as much as possible. This will take away acidity from the fruit as well so to regain that fresh acidic bite, a few pinches of citric acid powder can be added.

There are four different main methods of making butter cream. Each with their own national identities.
ITALIAN or SWISS
Butter whipped with hot syrup meringue.
I wouldn’t call my recipe Italian because I do not boil my sugar syrup to add in to egg white but this method is probably the closes to mine.

GERMAN
Butter whipped with custard cream.

FRENCH
Butter whipped with sabayon.

AMERICAN or ENGLISH
No eggs used. Icing sugar or fondant, maybe some milk or cream added.

Ingredients

The weights in the recipe table below will yield the following 'weight per unit' and 'number of units'. If you would like to change the recipe to cater to a different 'weight per unit' and/or 'number of units', you can use the Recipe Calculator Tool below the ingredients table.


Weight Per Unit: 1503
Number of Units: 1
WEIGHT
(grams)
ALTERNATIVE METRIC INGREDIENT IMAGE CONDITION
A 250 8.8 ounces Egg White Egg white is the common name for the clear liquid (also called the albumen or the glair/glaire) contained within an egg. In chickens it is formed from the layers of secretions of the anterior section of the hen's oviduct during the passage of the egg. It forms around fertilized or unfertilized egg yolks. The primary natural purpose of egg white is to protect the yolk and provide additional nutrition for the growth of the embryo (when fertilized). Egg white consists primarily of about 90% water into which is dissolved 10% proteins (including albumins, mucoproteins, and globulins). Unlike the yolk, which is high in lipids (fats), egg white contains almost no fat, and carbohydrate content is less than 1%. Egg whites contain just over 50% of the protein in the egg. Egg white has many uses in food (e.g. mousse) and also many other uses (e.g. in the preparation of vaccines such as those for influenza). Pure - No trace of egg yolk.
B 500 17.6 ounces Sugar Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are carbohydrates, composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. There are various types of sugar derived from different sources. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (also known as dextrose), fructose and galactose. The table or granulated sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose, a disaccharide. (In the body, sucrose hydrolyses into fructose and glucose.) Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides. Chemically-different substances may also have a sweet taste, but are not classified as sugars. Some are used as lower-calorie food substitutes for sugar described as artificial sweeteners. (Caster)
C 750 26.4 ounces Butter Butter is a solid dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk, to separate the butterfat from the buttermilk. It is generally used as a spread on plain or toasted bread products and a condiment on cooked vegetables, as well as in cooking, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying. Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water. Room temperature / small cubes.
D 3 0.6 teaspoon Vanilla Powder (Preferably white)
1503

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Method
STEP ACTION DETAIL CONDITION
1 MEASURE Weigh all ingredients. Room temperature
2 MIX Mix the egg white and sugar in a bowl.
3 HEAT Place the egg white and sugar (mixed) onto a double boiler.
4 WHISK Whisk the egg white and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. You should not feel grains of sugar in between two fingers.
5 POUR Pour the mixture into a mixer. Palette attachment.
6 WHIP Whip the mixture for 4 minutes on high speed. White meringue.
7 ADD Add the cubes of butter one by one. Looks split.
8 WHIP Continue to whip on high speed for 5-7 minutes. Smooth
9 STORE Store butter cream in an air tight container.
Important Notes
  • You must store butter cream in the fridge.
  • Cakes that use butter cream can be kept in air conditioned environments for a few days but this depends on hygienic preparations as well as other components of the cake. Make your decision responsibly.
  • Butter cream removed from a fridge can be shortly microwaved and re-whipped with a mixer. Microwave only to soften a little bit. Do not over heat it or it will be too runny. If you try to achieve a so called crusting butter cream, normally there needs to be a sugar content that is 3 times more than the fat content. By adding an additional 500g to 1kg of icing sugar, (depending on how sweet you want to have your cream) you can achieve some crust which allows for a touchable surface. Don't forget, more crust means more of a sweet taste.


Tools & Arrangements
  • Double Boiler
    An arrangement whereby mixing bowl sitting on top the cooking pot. The lower pot is used to hold simmering water, which gently heats the mixture in the upper bowl. Boiling water in the pot should not touch the bottom of the upper bowl. Double boilers are used to warm or cook heat-sensitive food such as custards, delicate sauces and chocolate. In this recipe, it is used for heating the egg white sugar mixture.
  • Mixer with palette attachment.
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47 Comments

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Hi Chef
    Your buttercream recipe is divine…THANK YOU!
    If I use the original recipe, is it good to cover the cake before the fondant (i.e. will it be firm enough so I can smooth out the fondant etc.)? At what time do you suggest I add color to the mixture, if I want it colored? Does it make any difference if it’s liquid or gel?
    Thanks

  • Where would I find the German buttercream recipe. Also the German buttercream cover cakes the same way, or does it get firm in the refrigerator like the others?

    • Serdar Yener

      Every buttercream will get firm in the fridge as long as the amount of butter not less than 50% wight wise. I worked in Germany 6 years and we mix custard cream and butter 50:50 and whipped till light. In general French mix sabayon. italian mix Meringue English and Americans mix icing sugar and milk (maybe cream). Russian mix Condense milk . As I said it is in general not always. Thanks

  • Hi Mr. Yener, I am a new one on your website ! So, I have just made your recipes of Butter cream. It is so smooth …. I can’t wait to put this on a cake!. I write to you because when I follow the receipe, I have notice that I did not know when I should add the vanilla powder ? (I use a liquid one). Thank you very much !

  • Hi 😊 thank you for making me interrested in decorating cakes.
    For the first time om ny life I could make beautiful cakes to my fift childs confirmation. All thanks to your videos. I am now rehersing to make boatcake to ny husbond. Just for fun.
    Yesterday I should make this buttercream. I redused the recepy to 0.25, since I’ll not going to make a ton ofte cakes, just rehurce on big cupcakes. But the buttercream tasted not so good. I then discovered that I had used the original wight of butter. I am no going to make the mix og of eggwhites and sugar with that wight that lasts for full recipe, and then put in the buttercream I made yesterday instead of butter. I hope this will work. Then I can make several flavours and put in the freezer for later. Maybe I write as a comment underneeth how og worked.
    I appologise for my English, I’m Norwegian and 47. So it’s a long time since I went to school and lerned English 😊

  • I really love your videos and tutorials. You make it seem so easy. What is the best brand chocolate to use? Also can shortening be used to make buttercream if you are living in a tropical climate like the West Indies.

    • Serdar Yener

      Hi Cherryl, how can I advise you which chocolate to use, I never been in West Indies. For buttercream, you have to use butter, otherwise, you can not call buttercream. If you really want to use something else Crisco is good because it is white.

  • Hi
    i make it four times, two times was it very good en the others two not, i do not know why one time i get well a good meringue and the other time sloppy? may be when its fail i wash the bowl and doe it again and the bowl is not completely dry , ?? i i know i have it dried well but possible that it remains moist

  • Hallo
    Thank you chef
    my question my be not so clear ,you said that i can mix the custard cream and buttercream in any ratio, i want to now the ratio between the You can mix the custard cream and buttercream
    Thank you veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy much

    • Serdar Yener

      Okay, now I understand. There is no exact proportion for the best result. I would do 1 to 1 if I use for inside the cake and mixing other flavours but I would do 1 custard cream 2 butter for masking the cake, it will be whiter and smoother.

  • Dear Chef
    i dont know how much i can thank you , and i which way , you give us so good answer and help us all the times, you know when i find your website, i delete all the recipes which i have
    sir , i have aquestion, can i mix the butter cream with this custard recipe to get Crème au beurre ,of course i live in Holland which is cold all the times
    thank you

  • and one another question.i use animal butter or plant(margarine)butter?

  • hi mr yener i have few question.1 at what tempreture the eggs and sugar
    in mixer mix?ambient tempreture or immediately after mixing with water bath method?2 i mix the eggs and sugar until i reach to stiff peacks? 3 when i add butter cube i mix them with flat beater? as you can see your butter cream in picture is firm and strong but my product isnt firm and soft and is not good can you say why my butter cream is not firm? thank you and im sorry for my bad english

  • hi YENER its the recipe to mask a cake after fondant?

  • Hi Chef Yener,
    I have pasteurized egg whites. Can I skip mixing the egg whites with sugar over fire to sterilize it?
    Thank you … …

  • Chef Yener; i want to ask how long can i store the buttercream in fridge? And also can i store the ganache in fridge and how long time must be? Thankyou.. and hello from cyprus for you from Pere’s:)

    • Serdar Yener

      Hallo, you can store buttercream, airtight in the 4C fridge for a month if it is Italian style ( with meringue ). Ganache even longer. If I need to store these creams so long, I would keep them in the freezer in 500 g containers than minimum a year. Do not forget mould starts from wrong handling.Thanks

  • Hi Yener, I live in queensland 2hr north of brisbane so we share the same climate. Do you think I could use this buttercream inside the cake and then use your method of chocolate skin and ganache on the outside? I want to cover in fondant. Would i then put fondant cake in the fridge or buttercream can sit out a few days in aircon? Im just worried if i refrigerate fondant it will sweat when i take it out, but if i leave the cake out won’t the buttercream spoil? Its egg white and I thought council requires us to keep refrigerated. Very keen to hear what you do here or do you only use ganache? Thanks

    • Serdar Yener

      1. The ideal thing is after fondant the cake stay and decorated in air condition room (max 22 C).
      2. If decoration takes 1-day, Italian meringue ( boiling syrup) base buttercream inside okay ( with your own responsibility)
      3. If longer use ganache also inside.
      Good luck

    • Hello again Yener,
      I love your buttercream icing and it is very easy to follow the instructions. i have even made buttercream with cornstarch syrup and italian meringue buttercream. I made double the batch using your recipe and i am not getting the stiffness i have achieved before. what can i do to make it a little stiffer. i would like to use this tomorrow. should i make a little more meringue and add to the twice the amount i have made. I am storing it in a air tight container in the fridge and want to re whisk it to see if i can stiffien it a little more. it peaks but the whole product is floppy when stir with a spetulla. i am making a school bus cake for my grandson and traveling from Rochester NY to Toronto Canada at least 4 hour drive and have 3 days to make it. i only work on the cake after work so have few hours a day to work with it. and i do not want to waste the supplies i have used which is a lot of butter.

      • Serdar Yener

        The stiffness of buttercream is depending on 3 things 1. how much air been injected that mean how long whipped so less whipping is stiffness 2. How cold is the finished buttercream so if it is too soft keep it for a while in the fridge and slowly mix again without whipping. 3 . How much sugar in the recipe. When you finished my recipe which is 1xeggwhite-2xsugar-3xbutter you can fold more icing sugar into it as much as another 2 times . That makes the recipe little more sweet but stiffer at the same time. My last advice is you can also add a little-modified starch while you whipping. Hope this helps.

  • Hi Chef Yener, I have all best words for you.The thing i want to ask is does butter cream changes the flavor of the cake? Lets say chocolate flavor cake. Please tell me what is chocolate skin ,you mentioned it above.Best regards

    • Serdar Yener

      Hi Biljana I did not understand the first question. Chocolate skin is brushing or scraping chocolate on outside of the cake to create firm skin . This will help avoiding air bubbles and resistance agains pushing with fondant leveller . You need one or two more coats of ganache or butter cream before fondant.

  • Hello Chef Yener,
    Once the cake is covered with butter cream n refrigerated then will I be a able to cover it with fondant….n if yes what is the procedure. Chef Yener if you could please share your fondant recipe I will be grateful…

    Thank you n God bless you.

  • if I may interject our climate is mainly hot rather than cold and sometimes in between(rain/sunshine) my first experience with ready made buttercream taught me to use a little less of butter required by the recipie when I’m making homemade also to pay careful attention when mixing with the electrical appliance at short intervals check to see the level of stiffness you desire to restore a pronounce butter taste i add a little wiltons’ butter flavour and i do add some cream of tarter the results have been astonishing.Hope my imput helps.

  • Hello Yener. What type of chocolate is used for the chocolate skin meaning what percentage or does it matter?

  • Hi Yener, what do you mean by chocolate skin and ganache. Thanks

  • Hello Chef,

    I’m wondering what you think of adding shortening to the buttercream, in place of some of the butter. In my experience, it does take away from the flavor a little, but it helps keep the buttercream from melting in the heat.

  • Hi Yener, I watch you wedding cake tutorial, what do you use as a crumb coat and what fondant do you use to travel with the cake without problems.

  • Hi Yener, I live in Singapore and using English/American buttercream is a pain because it melts, will this recipe of your holds its shape?

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